Iraqi Airways (IA, Baghdad) has wet-leased a Hermes Airlines (H3, Athens Int'l) A320-200 - SX-BDS (cn 879) - from UAE-based lessor Aerovista for use on flights to Europe. The agreement is effective immediately.

The Iraqi national carrier was last week banned from using its own metal on flights to the European Union as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein after it failed to secure a Third Country Operators certificate (TCO) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

EASA said pre-TCO inspections had raised a number of concerns about the safety culture in place at both the airline and the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority.

Iraqi Airways serves Berlin Tegel, Copenhagen Kastrup, Düsseldorf Int'l, Frankfurt Int'l, Gothenburg Landvetter, London Gatwick, Malmö, Manchester Int'l and Stockholm Arlanda in Europe.